What did dogs eat prior to the introduction of commercial dog foods about 70 years ago? Instead of Dog Chow out of a bag, it was Real Food, i.e., human food scraps, bones, rodents, small rabbits, and birds, plus whatever they could scrounge out of the trash. And a lot of it was raw.
So why are we now feeding these formerly wild creatures canned and bagged, precooked, chemical-laced grains and contaminated meat byproducts instead of the fresh raw meat and vegetal matter they were designed to digest? The answer is convenience, coupled with convincing propaganda on the part of dog food manufacturers. But the truth is, cooked foods may be making our dogs sick and shortening their lives.
Is it safe to feed your dogs raw meat? Doesn’t it have dangerous parasites? As it turns out, dogs are not susceptible to parasites such as E. coli and salmonella because their digestive juices are more acidic than ours and can detoxify bacteria. The exceptions are pork and rabbit, which harbor particularly potent parasites and should not be fed raw. Another no-no is raw salmon. Serve food tepid, not cold, as they would eat it in the wild.
Bones (from beef and poultry) and chicken and turkey necks and backs are packed with nutrients such as amino acids and protein, fat, essential fatty acids, fiber, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Chewing and eating them also provides upper body and intestinal exercise. Although some pet nutritionists and veterinarians are against giving bones to dogs because they believe bones damage the teeth, others think they are a necessary adjunct to a dog’s diet. All vets agree that you should never give your dog cooked bones, because they can splinter and become stuck in the throat or digestive tract-particularly chicken bones. But raw bones are safe. There probably doesn’t exist a dog who will refuse a bone. You can also use raw, unpasteurized milk, particularly goat’s milk, several times weekly to supply calcium. Another milk product, yogurt, contains friendly bacteria as well as calcium.
Raw muscle and organ meats (heart, liver, kidney, thymus, spleen, etc.) are also excellent for your dog. They contain amino acids, protein, fat, and more antioxidants, enzymes, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals than cooked meat. Raw egg yolks can be added to the meal a few times a week, and fish twice a week. Fish is low in vitamins E and B1, so don’t feed it to your dogs too often. A deficiency of B1 results in vomiting, weight loss, and even brain damage. Raw meat, fish and eggs contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which maintain healthy organ systems.
Dogs raised on denatured, commercial, cooked pet foods tend to have inadequate digestive enzymes, which are found in abundance in raw foods. You can add enzymes to their diet to aid digestion in the form of unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar (which also kills unfriendly bacteria), one to two tablespoons mixed into the meal. Nondairy acidophilus/bifidus and citrus seed extract from the health food store are probiotics: antibacterial organisms that promote a healthy intestine and can be added to food. In addition, alfalfa and kelp, chamomile, garlic, ginger, and parsley combat gram-negative bacteria such as salmonella, if you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of feeding your dogs raw foods. And if you can afford it, organic or free-range meat and eggs are always better because there are no hormones or antibiotics that can be passed on to your dog.
Dogs require vegetal matter in their diets-preferably raw also-although grains and beans should always be cooked. They need minerals from other foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables in order to utilize the protein from meat.
Choosing the right food for your dog is really crucial. Hence, as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to know what’s best and what’s not for your dog. See this page for more reliable and helpful information.
A regimen that consists of fresh and organic raw meat, bones, cage-free eggs, and organic vegetables and fruits for dogs is ideal because of the high pollution levels of factory-farmed meat (antibiotics, tranquilizers, synthetic hormones, heavy metals, and pesticides like DDT, dioxin, etc.), and their possible links to cancer, allergies, infections, kidney and liver disease, and behavior problems.